CoSozo Living

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Sun, June 1, 2014
Christine's Corner, Sunday, June 1, 2014
There are so many things that I find fascinating about this process called life that it could literally fill several books to cover them all. One of the most compelling aspects of life for me is just how one life touches another, and in so doing, becomes a part of what is then carried on to the next person. It is as if we are all united, all joined in the sharing of our stories, our energies, our lives.

It's very reminiscent of the quantum physics studies that show that matter literally changes simply through the process of witnessing it. We, too, are transformed, simply through the process of becoming aware of one another, and in some cases, we are also consciously changed as a result of the sharing of our stories, our love, our time, and attention through however that relationship occurs.

Last summer, some of the CoSozo crew had the opportunity to join the American Heart Association at their Heart Walk here in Lansing. Before the walk we had the opportunity to go and talk with folks about why they were there and how heart disease and strokes had impacted their lives. Some were there wearing t-shirts with their loved ones' faces on them, others carried signs with the names of their loved ones, and they all had stories to share about the ways their lives had been changed as a result of the disease. Every single person, invited to share their stories through our microphones, opened up and spoke and smiled and cried about the depth of their love for the person and how they had all been changed by the disease.

To stand in those moments with these families and friends, to witness and actually feel their emotions cascading off from them remained with me long after the event had concluded. Still to this day I think of them and how openly and passionately they rallied in support for their loved ones. And in those moments, their stories and their acts of sharing also changed me. Their stories are now part of my own story, part of my life experience, my memory, part of who I am because I shared those moments with them.

This month's feature article provides an opportunity for us to again raise awareness of just how prevalent heart disease is in our society. Stacy Sawyer, the Senior Communications and Marketing Director for the American Heart Association in Michigan wrote this month's feature article and again I'm reminded how many families, including my own, have been touched by heart disease and stroke.

More though than just awareness of this devastating disease, I think of the people and the lives of those associated. I think of the crowd united in fighting against this disease that I was a part of last summer, I think of how much more there is to them as individuals, how moving their stories, how deeply they touched me. Every person has a story, has a richness within them earned through the course of their lives that they express either by sharing or simply by their mere presence. Each life touches another and in so doing we are also changed.

There are also those who touch our lives whom we've never met. Just recently we lost one of our world's great teachers, as Maya Angelou passed away. Maya was an author, a poet, a humanitarian, and although she experienced great challenges and tremendous suffering at times in her life, through those experiences, she evolved, transcended, and incorporated within her the wisdom she learned along the way. To me she was one of our world's greatest spiritual teachers and so much of what she said and wrote during her time here allowed me to develop my own sense of self from the soul level much more deeply. She once said, "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."

Maya had a song within her, as we all do. While we can feel we must sing that song to get us where we want to go, to do what we feel we want to accomplish, she used her song simply because she felt it within her. She allowed herself to express herself from the deepest part of whom she was. To me, that was part of what made Maya so special. Through her challenges, she had listened closely to whom she was within, and spent all of her life then sharing that gift and that wisdom with the rest of the world. She didn't write to become a famous author, she spoke the truth within her soul, she allowed her soul to guide her. She was remarkable at allowing her being to simply be, to allow her life to unfold as a result of her soul's yearnings for expression.

I never met Maya, I never even spoke to her. But she made me feel things I'd never felt before, changed how I felt within myself, and changed my life as a result of that. She has become a part of the fabric of who I am as an individual. She opened my eyes to the many people she championed who had no one else to really speak for them. She worked for social justice and for the underserved. She understood from a very deep level the transformative power of living from the core of your center. And in her quiet, firm, assured manner, she helped all of us to heal, to connect through our souls to one another, and to love.

As we enter these summer months of more time with friends and family, I think about the people who have helped to shape my life - the strangers, the leaders, the family, the friends, all of those whose stories have now become entwined with my consciousness. Each of us, joined together for an event, for a simple conversation, or even just to become aware of the other, literally change the life of one another. That transformative effect that we have on each other's lives when I pause to consider the profound impact that has, literally can take my breath away for the sheer beauty of it.

So to all of you, I say thank you. Thank you for gracing my life with the gift of your presence, for helping to shape the person I am today. And may we all, as we go out into the world, stand in awe at the gifts offered to us by all whom we meet. Enjoy this fresh summer month and may you fill your lives with your own song!

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